The varying requirements of the Programs of the School of Health Professions result in different completion times. Degrees may be conferred at the end of each semester, but the commencement ceremony is held in December following the conclusion of the fall term. Only students who have completed all degree requirements prior to commencement will be eligible to participate in commencement exercises. Students not meeting eligibility requirements for participation in the commencement ceremony may request consideration for an exception (i.e. not related to academic performance); this request is initiated through their Department Chair and must be approved by the Dean.

All eligible degree candidates are encouraged to participate in commencement exercises. Advancement or deferral of commencement is not permitted. All students who have completed degree requirements since the previous commencement will be listed in the commencement program.

Degrees earned are posted to the students’ permanent academic records at the end of the semester in which all requirements are met. If required for employment or to substantiate credentials, a letter verifying completion of educational requirements may be obtained from the Department Chair or Program Director.


Posthumous Degree

UT Southwestern will award degrees posthumously when a student who has completed all degree requirements passes away before conferral and graduation. Posthumous degrees may also be awarded when a deceased student has substantially completed degree requirements prior to death and the student would have completed all requirements by the anticipated graduation date under normal circumstances. The decision of the Provost regarding whether a student has substantially completed all requirements necessary to award a posthumous degree is final in all respects and may not be appealed.

The Office of the Registrar will facilitate a request for a posthumous degree from the student’s family member, the Dean of the student’s school, or the student’s program director. If the request is approved by the Dean, Provost, and President, the Registrar will update the student’s records to reflect the award of a degree posthumously. The deceased student will be recognized at the graduation ceremony and the next-of-kin will receive the student’s diploma noting the degree was awarded posthumously. Next-of-kin who do not wish for the deceased student to be recognized at graduation should notify the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of the school in writing. 

UT Southwestern may require appropriate documentation of the relationship between the deceased student and next-of-kin before releasing a diploma or other student records.